The cost of ripping and replacing Chinese cellular equipment has ballooned by billions


The original estimate was $1.8 billion. The FCC received applications for $5.6 billion in reimbursements. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The estimated cost of replacing Huawei and ZTE equipment in US networks has increased substantially. On Friday, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel told Congress that providers had applied to be reimbursed $5.6 billion for “ripping and replacing” equipment deemed insecure by the US government (via Light Reading). In September, 2020, the FCC estimated that the effort would cost $1.8 billion, and in December, 2020 Congress earmarked around $1.9 billion for the effort.

But Rosenworcel said Friday in a statement that the FCC had received “over 181 applications from carriers who have developed plans to remove and replace equipment in their networks that pose a national security threat.” She went on to say…

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